A Halloween to Forget
By Katie C.
It was a chilly Friday evening in October. The moon was full, and a recent weather change created a fog that heavily blanketed the town of Crimson Pass. It was Halloween and Abigail Johnson and her friend Megan were getting ready to go to a party on the other side of town.
Grateful for the weekend and a break from the stresses of high school, Abigail ran a brush through her curly red hair and pulled it back into a loose ponytail. She slipped into her witch’s costume, put on her pointy hat and began applying glittery green eye makeup. She didn’t want to be a scary witch. She wanted to be a pretty one. After all, maybe tonight was her chance to finally catch the attention of Luke Patterson, the cute boy from history class.
As soon as Megan put the finishing touches on her fairy costume, they were ready to go.
“Bye, mom! I’ll be back later tonight,” Abby shouted as she grabbed her car keys and headed out the front door.
“Be safe driving!” her mother said. “It’s really foggy tonight and you need to pay extra attention to the road.”
“You worry too much,” Abby said. “I’ll be fine. I’m almost 18 years old. I think I know how to drive in some silly fog. I’ll be home before midnight. Relax!”
In the driveway, Megan climbed in the front seat of Abby’s ancient jeep. Putting on her seatbelt, she adjusted the radio, finding the modern pop station she and Abby both liked. But since it was Halloween, they weren’t playing the latest hits. Instead, the familiar chords of “Monster Mash” blared through the speakers.
Abby and Megan were having too much fun singing along to notice that, in the thick of the fog, they took a wrong turn. It wasn’t until the town’s streetlights had vanished that Abby realized she had made a mistake.
“Crap! I think I missed the turn. I needed to get on Autumn Oaks Road, but I have no clue where we are,” Abby said. “I don’t even see any street signs.”
“Don’t stress,” said Megan. “We’ll just use the GPS on our phones and get back on track.”
But Abby and Megan were too far out in the country to get cell phone service.
“Now what do we do?” Abby asked, feeling slightly panicked. “These back roads are really dark and I can barely see five feet in front of the car. We’ll never make it to the party now.”
“It will be ok,” Megan said. “Let’s just turn around and go back the way we came. We’re bound to come across an intersection we recognize.”
After driving around for nearly an hour, they were hopelessly lost. Worse yet, the jeep ran out of gas, leaving them stranded on the side of the road. Not sure what else to do, they abandoned the car and started walking in the direction they thought was towards town.
About a half mile up the road, they heard the sounds of a vehicle approaching and saw headlights cutting through the dense fog. An old Chevy pickup truck rolled to a stop beside them. A thickly bearded man wearing a flannel shirt rolled down the window.
“Do you girls need some help?” he asked.
“No, no, we’re fine,” Abby said, feeling the hair on the back of her neck rise.
“Abby!” Megan hissed! “You know we’re stranded. Maybe this guy can take us to get some gas and we can get directions back to town.”
“I’d be happy to take you to the gas station,” the man said. “I saw your Jeep down the road.”
Megan elbowed Abby in the ribs.
“Alright,” Abby said, reluctantly.
The two girls climbed into the truck and sat down.
“I’m Art,” the man said, introducing himself. “How on earth did you two get stranded all the way out here?”
“We were trying to get to a Halloween Party, but I wasn’t paying attention and missed my turn,” Abby said. “We tried to find our way back, but the Jeep ran out of gas.”
“Well now, that explains the costumes,” Art said with a grin. “The gas station isn’t far. We’ll get you fixed up in no time.”
“Thanks,” Abby said. “We appreciate your help.”
After driving for about five minutes, Art turned the truck onto a bumpy gravel road. Pulling up to what looked like a dilapidated shack in the middle of the woods, he abruptly cut the engine.
“This doesn’t look like any gas station I’ve ever seen,” Megan said.
“Well now, I guess it wouldn’t then, would it?” Art replied. “I think you two girls are in for a night you’ll never forget. If you live that long.”
Abby screamed and grabbed for the door handle. Art quickly jerked her back by her ponytail, causing her to smash her head against Megan’s. She felt a cool trickle of blood run down her temple and then her thoughts went black.
When she woke up, Abby felt confused and her head was pounding. She tried to clear her thoughts and remember what had happened. Looking around, she saw that she was tied to a chair in the middle of what looked like a dirty kitchen. Megan was tied up too, her back against Abby’s.
“Megan! Megan! Wake up!” Abby screamed, nudging her friend. Megan groaned, slumping forward. Finally coming to, Megan tried twisting around, but it only made the ropes around her wrists tighter.
“We have to get out of here, now!” Abby said. “If we wiggle just a little closer, I think I can move my hand enough to loosen the ropes.”
Abby and Megan squirmed and wriggled together, finally freeing themselves from rope’s constraints. Carefully approaching what appeared to be the front window of the tiny shack, Abby struggled to wipe away the grime blocking her view outside.
Suddenly, Art’s face popped up through the dirty smears. Screaming, Megan and Abby made a beeline for the back of the shack. Quickly using a chair to smash out the back window, they ran outside.
“You can run, but you can’t hide,” Art said, eerily calm.
Abby and Megan ducked behind a row of trees. They could hear Art’s footsteps nearby. Fishing into her green and orange stripped stockings, Abby pulled out her cell phone, grateful it was still there. But she didn’t have any service.
“We have to stay calm,” Abby said whispered. “If we can somehow find our way to a spot that does get reception, we can call for help.”
Hearing a twig snap, Abby and Megan looked up, only to see Art brandishing a chainsaw in front of them. The chainsaw roared to life as the girls scrambled to their feet. Not sure where they were going, they ran until their lungs felt as though they would burst.
Looking behind them every few seconds and fearing the worst, they pressed forward.
Finally, they found their way out of the woods and onto a paved road. Slowing their pace, they jogged until they saw street lights, a sight they never thought they’d see again. Recognizing the outskirts of town, Abby dared slow down long enough to pull out her phone and call for help.
As police cars and sirens whirled around them, Abby and Megan clutched each other, shivering in their torn and dirty Halloween costumes.
The police questioned them, and eventually located Abby’s jeep, but they never were able to find Art, his Chevy truck, or the chainsaw whose terrifying noises would haunt them even in their dreams.